WEST LIBERTY, W.Va., Nov. 12, 2020 — West Liberty University campus beautification got a boost this fall as 40 trees were added to the landscape.
“In total we planted about 40 trees, including American chestnuts, cottonwood, red maples, willow, bald cypress redbuds, Kentucky coffee trees, Catalpa, river birch, as well as several other species. These trees should help stabilize the soils, improve wildlife habitat, and also increase the aesthetic beauty of campus,” explained Dr. James Wood, an assistant professor of biology at the university.
Trees were donated by Karen Cox of West Virginia University Agriculture Extension Office, Janelle Loh (WLU geography major student), the American Chestnut Foundation, and Dr. Wood.
“It was fun to work on this tree planting project,” said Loh who donated about five or six trees that she grew from seeds originally given to her by Dr. Wood.
“It was nice to return the tree seedlings back to West Liberty.”
A resident of Wheeling, Loh is an active gardener who takes care of the Butterfly Garden at Oglebay Institute’s Schrader Center and is a former member of the Ohio County Master Gardeners group.
Five students, Jason Ake (Martins Ferry, Ohio), Talon Chambers (Bethany, W.Va.), Kaleb Norris (Wintersville, Ohio), Jaden Rusnak (Steubenville, Ohio), and Arien Strachan (Nassau, the Bahamas) also volunteered their time as part of the service-project assignment for Dr. Wood’s course.
The young trees were planted behind the Campbell Hall of Health Sciences in a wetlands area that features an attractive walkway used by students, faculty and staff.
“These trees are all native to the area and the eastern US. These trees should help restore some wildlife habitat to one of our campus’ wetlands,” Wood said.
The biology department at WLU is housed in the College of Sciences and offers students the choice of a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology with several different majors, or a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Biology to pursue teaching.
Biology majors include Environmental Stewardship and Education, Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology, Zoo Science and many more. Students also have the opportunity to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Human Biology + Master of Science Physician Assistant Studies degree through our 3+2 program. Many undergraduate students gain valuable experience working with faculty on research projects in award-winning labs.
Please click here to view a video of the planting, created by Lauryn Fridley, a WLU broadcasting major.